Burnaby Beacon is celebrating its first birthday today! (Burnaby Beacon)

Burnaby Beacon birthday: A year in review from our team

This past year has been such a success thanks to your support.❤️

By Simran Singh | April 26, 2022 |5:00 am

What a year it’s been!

You probably already know we’re celebrating our first birthday today and we all just had so much to say, that it had to go into its own article.

So here are some birthday thoughts and thank you’s from the Burnaby Beacon team:

Simran Singh – managing editor

Looking back on this past year, I couldn’t be more proud of the Burnaby Beacon team and all we have been able to achieve thanks to the support of you, our amazing readers.

I remember in winter 2021, I was having a real internal struggle. I felt like it was time for a career change, but I was unsure what path to take. When the opportunity to become the managing editor of the Beacon was presented to me, I was initially hesitant. After all, I had been focusing on Vancouver-focused news for several years, and I felt that covering those “big city” stories was the only way to make it as a journalist and managing editor.

I took a while to think about where I wanted my career to go, and it brought me back to why I became a journalist in the first place; I wanted to share stories of people that live in my community.

I grew up in Burnaby, went to elementary and high school in Burnaby, and now, as an almost 30-year-old, I have settled with my own family in Burnaby.

This is my home, and I want to focus on stories that impact, shape, and matter to my community. Being part of the Burnaby Beacon team has allowed me and my wonderful colleagues to do just that.

Speaking of my colleagues, I just want to give them a huge shout-out and thank you as well for all their hard work over this past year.  I joined the team shortly after Dustin and Srushti and I was immediately impressed with their talent and drive as well as their passion for journalism. They are some of the most talented people I’ve had the pleasure of working with and their commitment to sharing news that matters to the local community in a compassionate, and the extremely detail-oriented way can be seen in every single story they write.

In March, Marco Ovies joined our team as a lifestyle content creator and you’ve probably seen his videos on TikTok and Instagram. Marco has been outstanding at connecting our readers and audience to their community through his coverage of community events, food, and other fun activities happening around the city. He sheds light on all the things that make Burnaby NOT boring with his enthusiasm and infectious personality.

Lastly, I want to give a sincere thank you to our readers. Without your support, we would not have come this far. We live in a time where the importance of local news is often overlooked, but you have all shown us that you care, and you trust us to bring you the stories that matter every morning in your inbox.

I cannot thank you all enough! Here’s to many more years of the Beacon!

Srushti Gangdev – reporter

When I was in journalism school, there was one thing consistently drilled into my head and the heads of my classmates: a career in journalism will be gruelling, depressing, and no fun at all. I don’t think the people telling us that were lying, because a lot of the time it’s true. But the past year at Burnaby Beacon has shown me that it’s completely possible to make a career in journalism not only fulfilling, but enjoyable—if you and your team choose to do news a little differently.

I think that’s what we’re trying to accomplish here, and I think we’re doing it well. We never emphasize getting a story out in 5 minutes so you can beat someone out and then move on to the next piece. Instead, we prefer to take the time a story actually needs to fill it with context, background, and quality. Along with hopefully creating a more well-rounded story for you all to read, I think it’s made us approach our work in a more relaxed, but more quality-driven way.

A year ago, I was completely full of panic as I wondered what I had gotten myself into when I left mainstream media to pursue a new venture firm on turning some of our industry’s conventions on their heads. Would anyone agree that what we were setting out to do is valuable? I think the response from you all has shown that yes, this is important work—and I’m glad I get to do it.

Dustin Godfrey – reporter

I believe it was Descartes who said: “Conquer yourself rather than the world.” I have no clue what the hell he meant by that, but we at Burnaby Beacon, I believe, are doing a little conquering of our own.

Soon, we will control Burnaby and everything within it, and when we do, I anticipate that we will be received as liberators. We’ll cancel all debt, legislate 20-hour workweeks, brew great beers, produce iconic art and architecture, regulate the subprime mortgage market, and other things that are totally within the scope of local governance.

We’re only one year into our Great Revolution, and we’re playing the long game, so it may look like we’re just a Hip News Outlet, but we are so much more. We’re a band of merry men and women seeking to rob the rich and pay the poor comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable!

Now, a full year into this endeavour, I think we’ve made great strides forward. We all came into this with a similar frame of mind—that local news needs more than quick hits, but rather in-depth coverage of important stories.

And I think we’ve done a stand-up job of that so far! I’m a big fan of everything Simran and Srushti have been doing over the last year, and I’ve loved learning about all the best eats in town from Marco.

Marco Ovies – lifestyle content creator

I’ve only been with the Burnaby Beacon for two months, but I can easily say this is one of the best places I’ve ever worked. Simran, Srushti, and Dustin are some of the best coworkers I could ask for, and I’m always blown away by how nice they are. I’m a recent SFU graduate, and I was very intimidated entering the “real” journalism world. But the Burnaby Beacon has shown me that journalism doesn’t have to be as cutthroat or scary as I had thought.

The Beacon team has welcomed me with open arms and is made up of the most compassionate coworkers I could have asked for. Sure, there are some parts of this job that still make me nervous (like making sure not to mess up the newsletter), but I know that even if I make a mistake, I will be treated with compassion and understanding.

The Beacon is only one year old, but it feels so much older than that. I am so thankful I get to be part of the Beacon’s influential work and be part of such an amazing workplace.

Simran Singh

Managing Editor at Burnaby Beacon

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